The Mandalorian blew the internet’s collective mind yet again with its season 2 finale last week as it ended with the one and only Luke Skywalker turning up to take Baby Yoda away. The climax of the episode was both thrilling and heartbreaking, as Din Djarin was forced to let Grogu head off to be trained up in the ways of the Force by the legendary Jedi Master. We were left with many questions after watching, but one of the biggest was, just how did they manage to pull that surprise cameo off?
Exec producer Jon Favreau has now opened up about the difficulty in keeping Hamill’s involvement in the finale a secret while speaking to Good Morning America. The showrunner – who also penned the episode – admitted that the crew were terrified the news was going to leak all the way up until “Chapter 16” actually premiered last Friday, explaining:
“It was very tricky because it’s very hard to keep a secret nowadays, especially with Star Wars because people are so curious about it. And there are so many people involved with the process with visual effects finishing, making it, filming it, the studios everything. Every piece of casting leaked, and we were so scared right up until it aired that our surprise cameo was gonna leak too.”
Favreau’s right. We all knew about Temuera Morrison, Rosario Dawson and Katee Sackhoff appearing this season before the run had even begun. However, Hamill’s role was kept under wraps. Just like the big secret hidden in the series’ pilot – the existence of Baby Yoda himself. The EP went on to compare the two major twists, saying that what helped to keep them a secret is “not telling too many people,” and in the case of The Child, not having merchandise being made ahead of time.
“We started off the whole series with the Baby Yoda reveal – with the Grogu reveal – that was a secret that everybody was really blown away by. Part of that is not telling too many people, not having merchandise that’s being tooled up and announced and everything. And then the very last episode having Mark Hamill actually on set filming and us using whatever technology we had available to de-age him and try to make him look as much like he did in the old films.”
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Given the de-aging tech used to bring 80s Luke back to life, fans had wondered how much Hamill was involved in the process, but in these comments, Favreau confirms that the star was there on set. It’s still unknown which parts he performed on screen, as actor Max Lloyd-Jones and stuntman Matt Rugetti are also understood to have filled in for him for the cameo, but Hamill definitely provided his own vocals, which were likewise digitally altered to sound more like his younger self.
The big question we have now, of course, is whether Luke will be back in The Mandalorian season 3, arriving on Disney Plus next December.